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The Difference Between CPU vs. GPU Gaming

A CPU manages all of a computer’s essential operations, but the GPU is a specialized component that specializes in managing numerous smaller jobs concurrently. This is the key distinction between a CPU and a GPU. In contemporary computers, the CPU and GPU are both crucial silicon-based microprocessors. This article, we detail the differences & similarities between a CPU and a GPU.

What Is a CPU?

The CPU, also known as the computer’s ” brain, ” has millions of transistors and can support numerous processing cores. Since it carries out the operations your computer and operating system require, it is crucial to all contemporary computing systems. The CPU is crucial for determining how quickly programs may operate, from web browsing to creating spreadsheets.

What Is a GPU?

The GPU is a processor comprising numerous more specialized, smaller cores. When a processing task can be partitioned and processed across many cores, the cores perform enormously by cooperating.

Differences Between a CPU and GPU

The Difference Between CPU vs. GPU Gaming



  1. Generalist component- Handles main processing functions of a computer
  1. Specialized component – Handles graphic and video rendering
2. Core count- 2-64 (most CPUs) 2. Core count- thousands
3. Runs processes serially 3. Runs processes in parallel
4. Better at processing one big task at a time 4. Better at processing several smaller tasks at a time

What is a Central Processing Unit (CPU)?

The central processor unit, or CPU, is sometimes called the “brains” of your computer. It is a silicon chip attached to a socket on the motherboard. The central processing unit (CPU) manages everything you can do on a computer and executes commands for programs kept in the system’s memory utilizing billions of tiny transistors. It’s like having an electrical system with billions of on-off switches that translate tasks into 0s and 1s.

Most contemporary CPUs can perform 1 to 5 billion operations per second. The random in random access memory refers to the fact that although memory is often read from RAM in order, it can also be fetched out of order.

The primary job of the CPU is to read instructions from random access memory, or RAM, decode them, and then carry them out. They carry out operations sequentially or one after the other.

Here’s a Rundown of the Basic Functions of a CPU:

Fetch: The CPU sends a request for an instruction to RAM (or another type of program memory) and receives it back as a number, string of numbers, letter, address, or other data type. The CPU then processes the instruction. These RAM instructions contain a number or numbers that represent the following instruction that needs to be fetched.

Decode: The CPU has a set of instructions it can use to work with data once it obtains it. Among the most frequent instructions are those that load a number from RAM, add two numbers together, perform logical operations like Boolean logic, store a number from the CPU back in the RAM, accept device input or output data to a device, compare two numbers, or leap to a RAM address.

Execute: The instruction is then transmitted to the instruction decoder, transforming it into electrical impulses sent to various CPU components. Once the subsequent instruction is fetched, the process starts over.

CPU Features

The Difference Between CPU vs. GPU Gaming

There are a few common features of CPUs. Check out our buying guide for a more in-depth look at CPUs:

The processor of a CPU is known as a core. In the early days of computing, processors only had one core. Nowadays, computers frequently feature two to 64 cores. A CPU’s performance and efficiency increase with its number of cores.

Simultaneous multithreading, referred to as hyperthreading in Intel CPUs, assigns processing to many software threads rather than a single core. This effectively converts one core into two “logical” cores, enabling more work to be done simultaneously.

Cache: CPUs have built-in, incredibly fast memory faster than RAM or any SSD. The CPU will rapidly store the information it needs in L1, which is the fastest location in the L1–L3 arrangement of the CPU cache.

The Memory Management Unit (MMU) handles all memory and caching actions. It is often built inside the CPU and serves as a conduit for data transfer between the CPU and RAM throughout the fetch-decode-execute cycle. Additionally, it converts virtual addresses supplied by software to actual RAM physical addresses.

Control Unit: The control unit coordinates the CPU’s functions. It instructs the logic chip, RAM, and I/O devices on how to respond to commands.

What is a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)?

The GPU, also known as a graphics card or video card, renders images and videos in a computer. It can either be integrated, attached to the motherboard and sharing memory with the CPU, or discrete, separate from the motherboard and equipped with its memory (vRAM). Due to their size and resource sharing with the CPU, integrated GPUs typically perform worse than discrete GPUs.

Having the CPU handle everything started to reduce performance as computers gained the ability to run 3D graphics and other demanding applications. A specialized microprocessor became necessary to help with some of the workload. A GPU is similar to a specialized CPU and excels at multitasking. CPUs did the work that GPUs do now.

A GPU divides jobs into smaller ones and processes them in parallel rather than processing tasks serially (in sequence) like a CPU. Despite being smaller, GPUs have a far higher number of cores than CPUs. CPUs are more constrained because they are a more “generalist” component. Still, GPUs can perform many more mathematical and geographic calculations simultaneously with greater efficiency thanks to the additional cores.

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What is The Difference Between a GPU and a CPU?

GPUs have inspired a boom in AI, are now a crucial component of contemporary supercomputers, and have kept advancing pro gaming and graphics. Editor’s note: We’ve updated Kevin Krewell’s original article from December 2009 about the distinctions between GPUs and CPUs. The central processing unit, or CPU, has been referred to as the brains of a computer.

Is a CPU Good for Gaming?

As I mentioned, the CPU handles general procession but could be better at graphics processing. This is why computer designers created a GPU or video card for high-end gaming systems. Sometimes, a CPU integrates a GPU and shares the computer’s memory.

Does a Graphics Card Have a CPU?

For this reason, Graphics cards come with their CPU, RAM, and memory (VRAM). The GPU uses these devices exclusively. Manufacturers produce two main types of GPUs: Integrated and Discrete. An Integrated GPU (or an on-die GPU) is built onto the CPU. Integrated GPUs share the computer memory with the CPU.


There’s no one-size-fits-all answer in the eternal CPU vs. GPU gaming debate. Your choice should align with your gaming preferences, budget, and the types of games you love to play. As technology advances, both CPUs and GPUs evolve, offering exciting possibilities for gamers worldwide.

Now that you know the differences between CPU and GPU gaming, you can make an informed decision when building or upgrading your gaming setup. Happy gaming!

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